The Agony of Okinawa: Mao Ishikawa’s “The Great Photographic Scroll of the Ryūkyū” – Q&A with Dr Ayelet Zohar

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The Sainsbury Institute was delighted to welcome Dr Ayelet Zohar, President of the Japan Art History Foundation (JAHF), current visiting scholar at the Sainsbury Institute, and Senior Lecturer at the Art History Department, Tel Aviv University, to give our 250th Third Thursday Lecture. Focussing on the work of Okinawan photographer Mao Ishikawa, the talk explored Ishikawa’s practice through both her documentary and staged photography, with a particular focus on her latest project The Great Photographic Scroll of the Ryūkyū. Following a lively Q&A session where we ran out of time to answer all the questions submitted, Dr Zohar kindly returned to the unanswered questions for which you can read the […]

U.K. Anime and Manga Fanzines 1985-2000: Q&A with Helen McCarthy

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Manga Updates

Following her fascinating talk for our September Third Thursday Lecture, Helen McCarthy, independent scholar and author, answered some questions sent in by attendees. ANSWERED LIVE Q: Did UK fan zines have any contact with fan zines in other countries, sharing their zines & maybe anime tapes? A: That’s a great question. In fact, we had contacts not only with the USA, but with France and Belgium and a little later with the Netherlands and Germany. There were many fanzine and pro-zine publishers who got in touch with us through Anime UK Magazine and through that to other fanzines, and so there was a certain amount of tape trading, definitely with […]

Call for Papers – Internationalisation Revisited: The global role of Japan and China following the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games

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In preparation for Internationalisation Revisited: The global role of Japan and China following the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games, an online workshop on 5 and 6 September, we invite presenters to send abstracts of no more than 250 words that consider the role of Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 in relation to topics including (but not limited to):  Domestic and International Media Coverage  The Covid-19 Pandemic and its effects on the Games  Comparisons between Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022  Marketing  Transnationalism  Cultural Diplomacy  Race, gender and sexuality  Disability and ableism  Local/national responses to the Olympics  Television, news, and social media   Celebrities and Tokyo 2020/Beijing 2022  […]

The Later Prehistoric Norfolk Project – Excavations at Arminghall Henge September 2022: Call for Volunteers

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The Later Prehistoric Norfolk Project will be exploring a range of prehistoric monuments, from the Early Neolithic through to the end of the Iron Age, to better resolve the dating of the county’s monument sequence. Some of these monuments are threatened directly by climate change and others remain in the plough zone. This year’s work will focus on Arminghall Henge (NHER 6100; SAM 1003985) and its immediate monumental landscape. Field work will be carried out in August and September and will include geophysical survey followed by targeted investigations through excavation and sampling. At Arminghall itself we will be re-excavating JG Clarke’s trenches dug in 1935. The priority will be a […]

Mari Yamazaki × Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere

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The latest issue of the online New York Times Style Magazine: Japan features a conversation between Reserach Director Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere and Japanese manga artist Mari Yamazaki. They had met through Nicole’s curatorial work at The Citi Exhibition Manga at the British Museum in 2019 where Mari’s work Olympia Kyklos formed a part of the exhibition. The conversation centred around the theme of the Olympics, and they aslo talked openly about the Covid-19 pandemic and manga among other topics. Read the article here.

Website Update

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Welcome to our new website. We now have a page dedicated to online resources and we hope to add more links as we adapt to the new reality under the Coronavirus pandemic. We hope the new website will continue to serve as a resource for the Japanese studies community and beyond. In the meantime, do let us know your thoughts on the renewal.

Handa Archaeology Fellow Junzo Uchiyama’s article published in Nature Ecology & Evolution

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Sainsbury Institute’s Handa Archaeology Fellow Junzo Uchiyama’s co-authored article ‘Common Carp Aquaculture in Neolithic China Dates Back 8,000 Years’ has been published on 24th September 2019 in Nature. A team of international researchers analysed teeth of carp found in China and by comparing the body-length distributions the team found evidence that carp aquaculture existed 8,000 years ago, a staggering 5,000 years earlier than previously thought. You can read the article here and take a look at some of the behind-the-scenes pictures of the research below. Here are some common carp which had been raised over the summer in a paddy field and caught in the autumn in Matsukawa, Nagano, Japan, where fish farming is still […]

Toshiba International Foundation: 30th anniversary congratulations

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The Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese would like to congratulate the Toshiba International Foundation (TIFO) on their 30th anniversary in April 2019. We recognize the continuing significance of TIFO’s mission statement, encouraging greater understanding of Japanese culture around the world, and are very grateful for two decades of their generous support of the Sainsbury Institute. Executive Director of the Sainsbury Institute, Professor Simon Kaner, contributed a video message of congratulations to TIFO’s Voices of the World on their anniversary site. You can see the video or read a transcript of the message (in English or Japanese) here.

His Majesty Emperor Naruhito’s Accession

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The Sainsbury Institute offers its warmest congratulations to Japan on the accession of His Majesty Emperor Naruhito on Wednesday 1st May 2019 and looks forward to continuing to promote the study and understanding of Japan and its place in the world into the new Reiwa era. If you would like to offer your own congratulations, the Embassy of Japan in the UK has a commemorative guest book set up this week for people to express their well-wishes. The name of the era is taken from two characters used in the preface to poem below. The poem is part of a collection called Man’yōshū (万葉集, ‘Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves’). Thank you to Thomas McCauley […]

Obituary: Professor Donald Keene

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The Sainsbury Institute was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Professor Donald Keene in Tokyo on Sunday 24 February at the age of 96. The doyenne of Japanese literary studies, Professor Keene was a great friend of the Institute. In 2001 he gave the inaugural address marking the establishment of the Institute, in Norwich Cathedral, on the theme of the Meiji Emperor, a superlative biography about whom he had just completed. In 2003 he gave the inaugural Toshiba Lectures in Japanese Arts about the literati painter Watanabe Kazan, a study subsequently published by Columbia University Press as The Frog in the Well. And in 2009 he gave the inaugural […]

Report: Professor David Richardson’s Visit to Japan

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Professor David Richardson, Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia and Chair of the Sainsbury Institutefor the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures visited Japan for the third time in December 2018. He was accompaniedby his wife, Dr Andrea Blanchflower, and Professor Simon Kaner, Executive Director of the Sainsbury Institute andDirector of the Centre for Japanese Studies at UEA, and the largest delegation ever sent to Japan by the University. Take a look at the report here.

Japan-UK Season of Culture

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The “Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-20” bridges the Rugby World Cup 2019 and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Japan will organise the Japan Season of Culture in the UK, and the UK will oversee the UK Season of Culture in Japan in parallel. This was agreed between the Prime Ministers of Japan and the UK in August 2017. The Embassy of Japan in the UK has created a website bringing together Japan-related events, and events organised by Japan-related organisations, across the UK. It is a comprehensive guide to the Japan-UK Season of Culture, and events can be sorted by month or category. The Sainsbury Institute will have events featured throughout, which you […]

Report: Professor David Richardson’s Visit to Japan

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Professor David Richardson, Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia and Chair of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures visited Japan for the third time in December 2018. He was accompanied by his wife, Dr Andrea Blanchflower, and Professor Simon Kaner, Executive Director of the Sainsbury Institute and Director of the Centre for Japanese Studies at UEA, and the largest delegation ever sent to Japan by the University. Take a look at the report here.

200th Third Thursday Lecture

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Report On Thursday 20th September almost 250 people joined us to mark the 200th Third Thursday Lecture given by His Excellency Koji Tsuruoka, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at the Assembly House. Contributing greatly to longevity of the Third Thursday Lectures, which have been running since 2001, are our funders Yakult UK, the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. We were delighted to have Mr Hiroaki Yoshimura, Managing Director of Yakult UK, and Mr Brendan Griggs, CEO of Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation join us for the lecture. A number of other representatives from organisations who have supported the Sainsbury Institute attended, including the Japan Foundation, the Japan Society of the […]

Annual Report 2016-2017

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The Sainsbury Institute reports its activities on an annual basis through a series of E-magazines and Annual Reports. These include information about research projects and networks, lectures, conferences and workshops. Sainsbury Institute Annual Report 2016-2017 The Annual Report gives details of our Fellowship programmes, with updates on past and current research fellows, and developments in the Lisa Sainsbury Library. Previous Annual Reports can be downloaded as PDF files. Currently, Annual Reports are produced in line with the Institute’s financial year, which ends in July.

Change of leadership at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures

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Mami Mizutori leaves her role as Executive Director and is replaced by Simon Kaner to take up her new appointment as United Nations Assistant Secretary-General On 28 February 2018, Mami Mizutori will end her tenure as Executive Director. She will be replaced by Simon Kaner, Head of the Centre for Archaeology and Heritage on 1 March 2018. Mami will start a new job from March at the Geneva headquarters of the United Nations as the Assistant Secretary-General and Special Representative of Disaster Risk Reduction. She would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the warm support and friendship she received during her time at Norwich. She hopes […]

Research collaboration agreement signing with Gakushuin University

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The Sainsbury Institute and the Global Exchange Organisation for Research and Education of Gakushuin University, Japan, signed a memorandum of understanding for research exchange and collaboration in July 2016. This is a further boost to the Institute’s well established network of research partners. The memorandum would help foster a stronger research presence through development of joint lectures, publications, academic events and exchanges of research staff and information including library materials and research publications. We look forward to working on joint symposia, seminars and exchange visits by researchers in the coming years as a direct result of the memorandum signing.

Remembering Lady Sainsbury in the Biographical Portrait

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9 Aug 2016 Publication Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere contributed an article in remembrance of Lady Lisa Sainsbury, one of the founders of the Institute, and her contribution to Japanese Art Studies in the recently published book, Britain and Japan: Biographical Portrait volume X.Lady Sainsbury, together with her husband Sir Robert, were patrons of the art with discerning imagination and unparalleled vision. They hired the then little known architect, Norman Foster, to build a multi-functional gallery space to house their exquisite art collection, which they gifted to the University of East Anglia. Nicole notes that while many remember Lisa’s contribution to the arts, her deep interest and support for Japnaese arts has […]

Friends’ scheme closure announcement

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Our Friends’ scheme was launched in autumn 2012. Since then we have held over twenty special events for our Friends who have enjoyed closer engagement with the Institute’s activities while helping us promote the study of Japanese arts and cultures. We are very grateful to our Friends for their support. Their kindness and generosity have always been a source of inspiration and great encouragement for us. Following a recent strategic review, which considered the future directions of the Institute, our Management Board has made the difficult decision to discontinue our Friends’ scheme. Whilst the scheme has brought our supporters and friends together and has delivered many inspiring events at 64, […]

MoU signing with Kanagawa University

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Research Partnership Sainsbury Institute signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Kanagawa University’s Research Center for Nonwritten Cultural Materials, Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture Sainsbury Institute signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Kanagawa University’s Research Center for Nonwritten Cultural Materials, Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture In March this year, the Sainsbury Institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Research Centre for Nonwritten Cultural Materials, Institute for the Study of Japanese Folk Culture, Kanagawa University. This is a result of the visit to the Center at Kanagawa University by our Executive Director, Mami Mizutori, and Simon Kaner, Head of Centre for Archaeology and Heritage, where […]

MoU signed with Kokugakuin University’s Advancement of Research and Development

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Memorandum of Understanding Sainsbury Institute signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Kokugakuin University’s Organization for the Advancement of Research and Development The Sainsbury Institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kokugakuin University’s Organization for the Advancement of Research and Development in Tokyo on 8 March 2016. The Memorandum follows a research collaboration agreement made in 2009, and was signed by Inoue Nobutaka, Head of Advancement of Research and Development and Professor of Shinto Culture, and Mami Mizutori, Executive Director of the Sainsbury Institute.The Memorandum promotes collaborative academic research between the two organisations including conducting joint research projects, exchange of researchers and other academic activities.After the signing, Professor Inoue and Mami […]

Australia-Japan Security Relations in a Changing Region

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Griffith Asia Institute Q&A panel Watch the video Australia-Japan Security Relations in a Changing Region On 4 February, the Executive Director, Mami Mizutori participated in a Q&A panel event in Brisbane, Australia. The event titled ‘Australia-Japan Security Relations in a Changing Region’ was organised by the Griffith Asia Institute. As part of a panel of five experts in the field, Mami answered questions from the audience pertaining to bilateral defense cooperations, the precarious situation in North Korea and opportunities that the increasingly close bilateral relations present for young Australians aspiring to work in Japan.

British Museum acquires a pair of Arita Komainu dogs by Komatsu Miwa

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The British Museum acquires a pair of komainu (koma dog) Arita porcelain figures by Komatsu Miwa (1984 – ). The dogs were first exhibited as part of the Gold Medal awarded garden designed by Ishihara Kazuyuki at 2015 Chelsea Flower Show. The Institute’s Research Director, Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere was instrumental in negotiating the acquisition, who describes Komatsu Miwa’s work as important pieces that demonstrate the spirit of the artist as much as the technical prowess.

Okano Junko Completes Her Secondment at the Lisa Sainsbury Library

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Okano Junko late last year to early this year completed her secondment based at the Lisa Sainsbury Library as part of the library exchange programme between the Keio library and the Sainsbury Institute. Junko has been working as an acquisition librarian at the Keio University Media Center after graduating from the School of Library and Information Science at the Keio University. During her secondment, she visited other UK academic libraries such as SOAS Library, Cambridge University Library, Oxford Bodleian Japanese Library and British Library Document Supply Centre as well as some Japanese studies libraries in Paris during her stay from 23 Sep. 2013 to 17 Jan. 2014. The Sainsbury Institute […]

Lady Lisa Sainsbury 1912-2014

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The Sainsbury Institute is saddened to announce the death of its benefactor Lady Lisa Sainsbury. Lady Sainsbury died on 6th February aged 101. It was her vision, and that of her husband Sir Robert, who died in 2000, that led to the establishment of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC) in 1999. Sir Robert and Lisa Sainsbury were among the greatest collectors of art and most prominent benefactors of the arts in the United Kingdom in modern times. Their collecting partnership spanned more than sixty years. Their stunning art collection was donated to the University of East Anglia, Norwich in 1973 where it is […]

Nara University Joins Up With The Sainsbury Institute

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The Sainsbury Institute and the Nara University signed an agreement of cooperation on 8 January. Nara University is a private university founded 45 years ago. They are a specialized university in humanities with a strong focus on archaeology and cultural heritage studies. Dr Simon Kaner has cultivated a good relationship with Nara University through his former contacts at the Cultural Agency and other organizations, who are now teaching and researching at the university. Nara University has ongoing cooperative relationships with two universities each in both China and Korea. The Sainsbury Institute is the first European academic institutions with which the university has a formal agreement. The agreement was signed between […]

International Map Collectors’ Society To Visit The Sainsbury Institute on 4 April 2014

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Members of the International Map Collectors’ Society (IMCoS) will visit the Saisbury Institute on 4 April 2014 to come and see the Cortazzi Map Collection in the Lisa Sainsbury Library. The society based in England with members from all parts of the globe publishes quarterly journals and holds annual international symposia on maps. It also organizes related events for its members including the annual spring visits to important map collections in the UK or Europe. The society will venture to Norfolk for this year’s spring outing and will be shown the Cortazzi Map Collection at the Institute. The editor of IMCoS journal came across the Cortazzi collection when some 60 […]

New Online Resource Project To Start With National Research Institute for Cultural Properties

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The Sainsbury Institute signed a formal five-year research agreement with National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo (TOBUNKEN) on 24 July 2013. Under the project ‘Shaping the Fundamentals of Research on Japanese Art’, the Sainsbury Institute will develop an on-line English database on Japanese art research outside Japan to compliment the Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo’s own art reference database comprised of information on art related publications printed in Japan in Japanese. Sainsbury Institute will be responsible for collecting and disseminating information on publications and exhibitions related to Japanese art in English. The objective is for the database to act as the first point of reference for those interested in […]

Hitachi Europe and Hitachi Solutions Europe to Sponsor a New Online Resource

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Japanese History – Archaeology Project Online The role of history in education is currently in the headlines in the UK, as the future direction of how children are taught about the past is debated as part of the current government’s education reforms. With the sponsorship of Hitachi Europe and Hitachi Solutions Europe, the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures will develop a new online resource which will provide unprecedented access for school children in UK and other English speaking countries to some of humanity’s most significant but woefully under-appreciated cultural heritage, the historical and archaeological treasures of the Japanese archipelago. This resource will enable students across […]

Message from the Executive Director

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As We Enter 2014 One year has passed since the Liberal Democratic Party government, led by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, was established in late December of 2013. In response, the mood in Japan seems far more positive than a year ago. The first two arrows of Abe’s ‘Three Arrow Policy’ have been successfully implemented so far. These consist of monetary and fiscal policies designed to boost the economy that had been languishing during the past few decades. However, to bring about a lasting economic recovery, plans that also include structural reforms need to be put into place. Can more women be introduced into the work force, or possibly even more […]

Japanese Living National Treasures

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LectureFriday 1 Nov 2013 | 4 pm Royal College of Art, Dyson Building1 Hester Road, Battersea, London SW11 4AN(followed by refreshments and sake) Moriguchi Kunihiko (Yūzen textiles) & Murose Kazumi (Maki-e lacquer-work)with Dr Rupert Faulkner, Senior Curator, Asian Department, Victoria and Albert Museum, London About the Presentations This is an extremely rare opportunity to hear two illustrated presentations by two Japanese Living National Treasures. Moriguchi Kunihiko (b. 1941) is a Y?zen textile artist from Kyoto. He uses a resist-dyeing technique which dates back to the 17th century and yet his striking geometrical kimono designs are firmly rooted in the present. Murose Kazumi (b. 1950) from Tokyo creates meticulous maki-e (lit. […]

Winning Bid: Professor Rousmaniere wins the Art Fund COLLECT award

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Art Fund COLLECT took place on 10 May 2013 to coincide with the opening of COLLECT 2013 at London’s Saatchi Gallery. The fair was held from 10-13 May. Details of the award can be found here: The Art Fund Crafts Council Professor Nicole Rousmaniere (Research Director) won the Art Fund COLLECT award. Representing the British Museum where she is currently seconded, she secured the award which helped fund the purchase of an outstanding piece of contemporary craft object together with eight other museum representatives. Art Fund COLLECT, set up jointly by the Art Fund and the Crafts Council in 2008, is a scheme which offers UK museums the chance to enhance […]

A History of the World in 100 Objects

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BBC Radio 4 Podcast: Jomon Pot Simon Kaner (Assistant Director, Sainsbury Institute; Senior Lecturer, University of East Anglia) was on BBC Radio 4 on 29 January as a part of the series ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects.’ He discussed the bottom part of a Jomon pot that was subsequently used as a mizusashi (water container) in the tea ceremony with Neil McGregor (Director, British Museum) and Doi Takashi (Agency for Cultural Affairs). The pot is now in the British Museum collections.A History of the World in 100 Objects

A History of the World in 100 Objects

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BBC Radio 4 Podcast: Jomon Pot Simon Kaner (Assistant Director, Sainsbury Institute; Senior Lecturer, University of East Anglia) was on BBC Radio 4 on 29 January as a part of the series ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects.’ He discussed the bottom part of a Jomon pot that was subsequently used as a mizusashi (water container) in the tea ceremony with Neil McGregor (Director, British Museum) and Doi Takashi (Agency for Cultural Affairs). The pot is now in the British Museum collections. A History of the World in 100 Objects

New Year Party

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Friends EventWednesday 16 Jan 2013 | 6 – 8pm (followed by a reception)
 Sainsbury Institute, 64 The Close, Norwich NR1 4DH Invitation to a Traditional Japanese New Year Party at the Institute Cost: Members £15 / Non-members £20Price includes: a buffet of traditional Japanese New Year food, sushi, sake, wine and other refreshments, plus the opportunity to learn about Japanese New Year customs and to play traditional gamesDress code: Smart casual Places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like to attend the event, please complete the booking form and return it to us together with your payment. 

This event is open to both […]

Jōmon-inspired Music from Aomori Japan

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Earthenware flame pot. Middle Jōmon period, about 3000BC. Excavated from the Iwanohara site, Niigata prefecture. Nagaoka Municipal Science Museum.

Partners Event, PerformanceFriday 7 Dec 2012 | 6.30 pm Stevenson Lecture Theatre, the British Museum Stevenson Lecture Theatre | £5 (members/concessions £3)Booking is essential. The Jōmon, Japan’s oldest known culture, are the inspiration behind Yamagami Susumu’s ethereal music, which he performs on a shakuhachi (traditional Japanese flute) and a tsugaru shamisen (three-stringed instrument). He will be joined by Professors Taniguchi Yasuhiro and David Hughes, experts on Jōmon culture and traditional Japanese music. Please arrive punctually to guarantee admission. For further information and booking, please click: The British Museum The Asahi Shimbun Display Flame and water pots: prehistoric ceramic art from Japan will be open so you can explore the ceramic tradition of this ancient people. Flame […]

One Year On: Ceremony at the Japanese Roof Garden at SOAS

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On 6 March, at the Japanese Roof Garden adjacent to the Brunei Gallery of SOAS, a simple but moving ceremony to commemorate the first year anniversary of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami disaster was conducted. The event was held in conjunction with the photo exhibition, ‘Tohoku’, co-organised by the Zen Foto Gallery in Japan, SOAS and the Sainsbury Institute. The exhibition will continue until 24 March. When the co-organisers started to plan this exhibition, we conceived of an event suitable near the date of the one year anniversary. From the beginning, we were in agreement that the solemn atmosphere of the Japanese Roof Garden was the perfect setting. […]

Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation

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Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere On 25 July 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan announced that it will be awarding Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere with the Foreign Minister’s Commendation for her services to the promotion of mutual understanding between Japan and the UK. Dr Rousmaniere was Founding Director of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures when it was established in 1999 and presently Research Director of the Institute. With research interests in Japanese contemporary craft expression, Japanese manga and early modern to contemporary ceramics, Dr Rousmaniere has been instrumental in furthering cultural exchange between our two nations. The Foreign Minister’s Commendations are awarded to individuals and […]

Lisa Sainsbury Library News

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The library will have WiFi installed this winter providing all visitors with access to the Internet on their own Laptops or Mobile device. The library welcomed Ms Rebecca Hawthorne, an M.A. student in Paper Conservation, Camberwell College of Art, University of the Arts London, in September 2012 to undertake a survey of the Cortazzi Map Collection currently on loan to the Sainsbury Institute from Sir Hugh Cortazzi. The collection was being surveyed for a restoration project that will allow an exhibition of the maps for the 10th anniversary of the Lisa Sainsbury Library. Her detailed report identified many useful suggestions for conserving the map collection. Rebecca will be carrying out […]

New Museology in the Wochikochi Magazine

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Updates

Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere in conversation with Shioda Junichi Click here to read about Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere discuss New Museology in the Wochikochi Magazine, Japan Foundation’s new monthly web-magazine, with Shioda Junichi, Executive Art Director of Aomori Museum of Art.